A team of young mothers from Cardiff has been crowned champions of Wales in the Lloyds Banking Group’s Money for Life Challenge, which aims to inspire better money management skills in local communities across the UK.
The Fashion on a Budget team held off a strong challenge from four other teams to win the Wales final held at The Royal College of Music and Drama yesterday, where they presented their money management project to a panel of high-profile judges.
Fashion on a Budget, a team of 17 to 19 year olds from East Cardiff, Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn (ECLP) Communities First, an anti-Poverty Programme, created a fashion show called ‘Style yourself on a budget’, which featured clothes purchased only from charity shops. The show tackled the stigma often attached to buying second-hand clothes by the highlighting the quality of charity shop goods at affordable prices.
They collected £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice and each team member received £50 shopping vouchers. They will now represent Wales at the Money for Life Challenge Grand Final at the O2 Venue in London on May 15, where they’ll compete against champions from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to claim the title of overall winners this year.
“We have gone through so much with this project and we are so chuffed to win and represent Wales in the UK final,” said team member Bethan Johnson, 19, of Llanedeyrn. “It’s a massive boost to our confidence and we had no idea how big this competition is.”
Bethan was joined by Amber Poole, 18, from Ebbw Vale, in making a presentation to the judging panel. Teammates Louisha Ware, 17, and Katie Renshaw, 19, were unable to be there due to illness and a family emergency.
Also representing Wales at the UK Grand Final will be Broke but Beautiful from Bridgend College who won the People’s Prize, which was voted for by those attending Cardiff final. The group of students formed a project to teach people receiving benefits how to save money on fashion and beauty.
Recognising the importance of looking presentable when attending job interviews, the project aimed to boost the self-esteem of unemployed people. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were used to promote the project on social media and a stand was held outside the local Job Centre to share tips with job seekers.
The judges also awarded a spontaneous judges’ prize of £300 to V21 Financial Independence Team, a group of 23 to 24 year old students from Vision 21, a Cardiff based charity. They created a visual money management board game to help adults with additional learning needs understand issues such as coin recognition, the cost of living, budgeting and saving money.
The 11 teams that competed in the Wales final set up their projects in January, when they were awarded a £500 grant from Money for Life to put their ideas into action. They reached final after demonstrating to the Money for Life Challenge judges that they had what it takes to improve not just their own money management skills, but those of their friends, families and even their local communities.
David Rowsell, head of the Money for Life Programme at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “What impressed the judges the most was the passion of all the teams to tell others what they have learnt. This programme is not just about personal learning; it’s about telling others, reaching into the community and inspiring people to think differently about money management.
“Hopefully, a lasting legacy of this programme will be that these teams take their passion for financial education to wider communities.”
The Money for Life Challenge in Wales was co-ordinated and delivered by CollegesWales and the National Training Federation for Wales.